L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Chaura Bazaar to be auto-free
City driven nuts by crawling traffic, parents told to avoid overloaded auto-rickshaws
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
In a development that could make residents, who have stopped visiting the Chaura Bazaar due to frequent traffic jams created by auto-rickshaws, cheerful the city police has decided to make it an auto-rickshaw free zone.

The step has been taken to make the city bus service successful. Complaints of auto-rickshaws creating parking problems for the bus service have been pouring in since long. The bus service has received a tremendous response from city residents. Most of them have opted to travel on the bus rather than travelling on an auto-rickshaw. Though, auto-rickshaws had been termed as an easy mode of transport, but it is notorious for creating massive traffic jams on the stretch between Clock Tower and the Jagraon Bridge. A large number of people have stopped going to the old city due to this.

“Our main emphasis is to ease traffic on highways and main roads under the comissionerate system. We have decided to block all unnecessary traffic intersections by erecting dividers. We have also requested residents to cooperate with the police and obey traffic rules,” said ACP (Traffic) Swapan Sharma.

The police has erected a divider in front of the intersection located near the Circuit House. The tow-away zone is here to stay, the ACP added. “We are receiving encouraging response and would continue with our drive,” he said.

The city traffic police has also requested the parents to use school buses for their wards and avoid overloaded auto-rickshaws. With the beginning of new session, the city police is planning to launch a challan drive against erring auto-rickshaw drivers.

“We have seen children being stuffed in auto-rickshaws like sardines. We have decided to challan such vehicles. Both auto-rickshaw drivers and parents are to be blamed. They are in habit of putting the life of their loved one at risk for saving few hundred rupees. The parents should avoid sending children on auto-rickshaws,” said traffic in charge Manjinder Singh.


Farmers occupy reserved seats, halt rail traffic
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
The rail traffic came to a halt after farmers from Manjha and Doaba, who are heading to Delhi for a bandh call, occupied the reserved seats of Chhattisgarh express today evening, leaving a large number of passengers stranded.

High drama was witnessed on the platform No. 1, when the visibally rattled passengeres were seen arguining with the farmers. At least 200 farmers refused to alight from the train and vacate the seats. The personnel of GRP, RPF and railway officials reached the spot and tried to plecate the farmers, but the latter refused to budge.

Till the time of filing of this report, the train had not left the station. A railway employee said the entire rail traffic had been disrupted due to the controversy and important trains were running behind the scheduel. Many trains, which were scheduled to arrive on the platform No 1, had to be diverted to other platforms.

Ravinder Sharma, Station Suprintendent, said, "The trouble started after farmers going to Delhi occupied the reserved seats.” 



Officials as busy as a bee
DC to review ongoing projects
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Officials of more than 15 departments, including the Municipal Corporation, Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL), GLADA, PWD (B&R), Education, Mandi Board, Civil Surgeon, District Food and Supply Controller (East and West) and Drainage etc seem to have started doing their “homework” after the Deputy Commissioner called a meeting for reviewing the ongoing development works, projects in the district on March 29.

While a few officials have termed it as a routine exercise, others feel that they will have to prepare a list of the projects as administration has asked them to furnish everything in detail.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, a senior official in the PWD (B&R) department, said the department could be asked about anything-status of link roads, bridges being constructed in the district, Sidhwan Canal bypass project or any other major infrastructural project going on in the district.

“Though, we will have to prepare ourselves, it is a good exercise by the administration. Almost all departments have been asked to come prepared with the projects’ list going on in the district”, said the official. He added that the administration had asked them to furnish everything in detail including name of the project, cost, date it was started, tentative date of its (project) completion and how much work had been completed etc.

PSPCL sources revealed that they had been asked to come up with information regarding electricity being supplied on hourly basis to the urban domestic and rural domestic consumers besides rural agricultural consumers and urban commercial and industrial consumers.



Police can’t crack cases, eat humble pie
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Be it a high-profile murder of Moga DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monica Kapila, who were found dead in a farmhouse on the Hambra Road on February 1,or finding the killer of barber Satish Kumar, who was shot dead outside a temple in Maya Nagar on March 5, the city police has failed crack these.

The city has witnessed several such high-profile murder mysteries, the files of which are gathering dust in various police stations.

The murder of Sohan Singh Lambradar, Namdhari leader Avtra Singh Tari and killing of Assistant Sub-Inspector Gurdial Singh are some of the prime examples where the investigating agencies had to eat humble pie.

Father-in-law of rebel Akali MLA Simerjeet Singh Bains was brutally murdered on December 2011 at his house in Noorpur village. Burglary, suspected to be the handiwork of notorious “kala kacha gang,” was the reason behind the murder. Lambradar was living alone in the house and used to keep the cash at home.

Interestingly, when Avtar Singh Tari was shot dead by unidentified assailants on April 13, 2011 near Sahnewal, DSP Balraj Singh was posted as the ACP of the Sahnewal subdivision.

Though, the police showed seriousness in cracking the broad daylight murder case of Namdhari leader, but nearly a year after the incident the murder mystery remains unsolved. The case of ASI Gurdial Singh, who was shot at in the head after a robber opened fire at a police party in Vishal Nagar on May 18, 2011, was another such unsolved case which caused embarrassment to the police department. After battling for life for nearly 18 days, the cop succumbed to bullet injuries on June 6, 2011.

In the case of Gurdial’s murder, the police launched a massive manhunt drive. Even the posters containing the CCTV footages of the ASI’s killers were circulated throughout the state.

The police was hoping that the posters of killers would prove beneficial in nabbing the criminals, but there has been no headway in the case so far.

Miffed at the failure of the police in nabbing the killers, Gurdial’s family did not attend the Police Commemoration Day on October 21, 2011.

Whereas, wife of barber Satish Kumar alleged that the police was harassing her and suspecting her involvement in Satish’s killing.



SIT finds crucial links
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the brutal double murder case of Moga DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monika Kapila has found crucial links that indicates involvement of Makhan Singh, who along with his accomplices Jagga and Salem had murdered ASI Harbhajan Singh in Barnala district last month.

The trio was caught by the Sirsa police in Haryana and taken to Barnala. They confessed having killed ASI Harbhajan Singh.

Jagga and Salem told the police that Makhan Singh was hiding in the industrial city for the past one year and was behind several crime that had taken place in the city. 



Admn prepares list of 267 panels
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Responding to the directions issued by the High Court, the district administration and the municipal corporation have jointly prepared a list of about 267 monitoring committees for each commercial area/market within the city. The list has to be submitted to the High Court before March 28.

Municipal Commissioner, MS Jaggi, said the main objective of forming these monitoring committees was to keep a regular check on the encroachments within city limits. “Since the court issued orders on February 10, 2012; the list has to be submitted in the court before March 28. We have prepared the list of 267 committees,” added Jaggi.

At times, it is not possible for authorities to monitor everything. But, with the involvement of three eminent residents from the respective areas in the monitoring committees, the corporation will be able to keep an eye on everything and take an action swiftly.

Every committee comprises not less than five members, out of whom three will be local residents and the remaining two government officials. The court in its orders issued on February 10 had directed the district administration and the municipal corporation that the monitoring committee should be headed by a responsible and respectable person of the local area.

Besides, the SHO of the local area shall associate with the monitoring committee and as and when it was reported that an encroachment had taken place or the encroacher was adamant against removal of the encroachment despite three days notice given to him, the local police could proceed in the matter in accordance with the law. However, if there was “title” or “possessory rights” dispute, the monitoring committee shall be at liberty to approach the civil court and/or the statutory authority for adjudication of such dispute in accordance with law. The court had also asked the authorities to let the composition of the monitoring committee be placed on record. 



Struggling sewing machine units want Pak to lift ban
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Struggling sewing machine industry of the city wants the Pakistan government to lift the ban on import of sewing machine parts from India. While India can export industrial sewing machine to Pakistan, there is a complete ban on the export of domestic sewing machines and its parts. Recently, more commodities were included in the negative list between India and Pakistan, but sewing machine was left behind.

The sewing machine industry in Ludhiana comprises 400-odd small units and caters to 90 per cent of the total sewing machines manufactured in India. The industry was hopeful that the ban on sewing machine parts will be lifted but their hopes were dashed to ground. However, no ban has been imposed by Pakistan on the import of sewing machines and parts from China.

“We have written to the ministry and requested them to approach the Pakistan government to lift the ban for import of industrial and domestic sewing machine and parts so that free flow of trade of spare parts is restored,” said DS Dhiman, chairman, Ludhiana Sewing Machine Industry Association (LSMIA).

“Although local industry is already exporting sewing machines to countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other south eastern countries, but Pakistan has imposed a ban. If the ban is lifted it will not only give a boost to the industry, but also help in bringing foreign currency to the country,” he added.

Gurdev Singh, general secretary, Ludhiana Sewing Machine Industry Association (LSMIA), said the ban on export should be lifted. “We can export the industrial sewing machine then why not its parts. Only marginal benefit was being observed by the domestic sewing machine manufacturers as there was check on sewing machine part imports,” he added. Industry is already in tribulation as it is finding it tough to compete with machines from China. With the large share in industrial sewing machines already being moped by imported sewing machines from China, it is only the demand of domestic needs that the sewing machine industry in the city caters to. Industry hoped if the ban is lifted it will prove as a morale booster to this sagging sector. 



8 artisans hurt as mini-truck overturns
Thrashed by tipsy youth, 2 serious; were returning from Saras Mela
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Eight artisans sustained injures after a mini-truck they were travelling in overturned near the Fountain Chowk here last night.
The injured have been identified as Mohammad Rayaz, Mohammad Kallu, Mohammad Ijaz, Mohammad Shehzad, Mohammad Kalim, Mohammad Rafi, Mohammad Akthar, Mohammad Babu Hasan and Mohammad Salem, all residents of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and its surrounding areas. The accident took place while they were returning to their rest house following the day’s work at Saras Mela.

According to Mohammad Ijaz, they missed the official bus and hired a mini-truck. The accident took place when the vehicle reached the Fountain Chowk.

“The driver saw a recklessly driven oncoming car. In order to avoid collision, the mini-truck driver took a sharp turn. However, the driver could not prevent collision. The car rammed into the truck and overturned,” Mohammad Rafi added.

While the mini-truck driver escaped injuries, the artisans were not so fortunate and sustained multiple injuries.

Mohammad Rafi said the tipsy youths travelling in the car thrashed them. The artisans somehow managed to escape. Two artisans, who sustained serious injuries, were admitted to the local Civil Hospital for treatment. The Division No 8 police has recorded their statements. 



Educationists unhappy with Budget
Want Centre to allocate more funds for education sector 
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 18
Educationists in the city are unhappy with the attitude of the Central government as they feel that the share alloted to the education sector in the Union Budget is quite small. According to a recent research by Dr Sukhpal Singh, Punjab Agricultural University, despite the implementation of the RTE Act, 9.5 percent of children in the state in the 6-14 age group are still out of school. This proposition is 14 percent in the Malwa region of Punjab.

The study revels that 76 percent students in rural government schools are from the labour class. Schools run by the state government are in a pitiable condition and most of them even lack the basic infrastructure. The state government is not able to give salaries to teachers and most of the teachers have not received salaries for last 6 months. The government has been running the schools with the aid of Centre-sponsored schemes and projects.

In the recently announced Union Budget, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) received Rs 25, 555 crore, showing an increase of 21.7 percent; while a 29 percent increase was seen for Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, making it Rs 3,124 crore. However, economists, teachers, and educationists are all disappointed with the budget as they were expecting a lot more funds for the education sector. Even state governments have to take steps to improve the quality of education.

Renowned economist Dr Sukhpal Singh said, "It is unfair to say that the central government neglected the education sector in the annual Budget. Education is a state subject but states do not have sufficient funds to provide quality education. Everyone knows the financial condition of the states."

"The union government should provide the funds to states instead of reserving funds for their own projects and schemes. Most of the time states have their own priorities and they are in a better position to decide what is important for their schools. So the Centre should strengthen the states," added Dr Sukhpal. 



Punjab Ayurveda students lag behind
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Students passing out as Ayurvedacharya from Punjab lag behind their counterparts from other states as many of them do not even know the basics of Ayurveda. This was observed in an interview conducted by Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth for "Guru Shishya Parampra" - a national level project.

Talking to the Tribune, Dr Ravinder Vatsayan, a leading Ayurvedacharya, said, "Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth which is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently conducted an interview for selecting students for stipend under Guru-Shishya parampara. Before interview, an national level test was conducted. 120 students were selected for the interview in the test. Ironically, a majority of the students who passed out from Punjab performed poorly as they were not even aware of the basic herbs used in Ayurveda. Not only this, the three biological elements (Vaat, Pitt and Cough) sounded to them as new words. Many of these students could not name these three elements, which are commonly called as Doshas in Ayurveda."

Dr Vatsayan, who was in the interview panel and has been elected as a Guru since last year, said, "Contrary to the performance of the students from this region, the students from southern states performed better. Their commitment and motivation was better. Moreover they were very clear about the basic concepts of Ayurveda."

Dr Vatsayan has trained 5 students under the Guru-Shishya Parampara. He said, "The aim of this project is to promote and preserve the ancient knowledge of Ayurveda. Pass out students are selected for practical training under an Ayurvedacharya for a year, and each selected students gets a stipend of Rs25000 per month. Presently, there are 37 senior Ayurvedic physicians in the country who will clinically train these student doctors."



Roll schools out of financial crisis: Ex-VC
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 18
Is it just a perception that none of the ministers holding the education portfolio has made it back to the Punjab assembly so far? Whatever be the case, it would be a real challenge for the new education minister to uplift the standards of education in the state. The department requires some strong decisions as the former Director General of School Education took during the tenure of former education minister Upinderjit Kaur.

SP Singh, former Vice Chancellor said, "We submitted the education committee report to the department before the Assembly elections. We hope that the next education minister would continue with the education policy. We are committed for comprehensive education reforms, to develop the infrastructure and academic standards. It will all depend on the new education minister.”

"Government school in the state are facing several problems. The state government is not releasing salaries of teachers. Moreover there is no fund for Mid day meal and other schemes. Even schools are not in the condition of paying electricity and water bills. So to bring them out from the financial crisis would be the biggest challenge for the new education minister," said a teacher requesting anonymity.

Gurbhajan Singh Gill, president of Punjabi Sahit Akadmi said, "We have many expectations from new education minister. The Library Act is in the pipeline and should be passed as soon as possible. There is also a need of strict implementation of rules regarding the Punjabi language in private schools. Also, sports need to be encouraged in government schools.”



Children enact play during annual function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Maple Bear Canadian Playway and Nursery School, Udham Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, celebrated its Annual Function-2012 "The inimitable-Girl Child" at the Lions Club, Ludhiana. The tiny tots put up a great performance and the event which began on a classical note. The main attraction of the evening was a play depicting the ill-treatment of girls in our society. The message was to save the girl child as girls are not less than boys in any respect and should be treated equally. Everyone present was touched and pledged to encourage and promote the cause. The play was choreographed by Anika. Students also preformed a variety of folk and western songs during the event. Bhangra, classical and western Songs were choreographed by Puja.

Principal of the school, Veena Aggarwal, read out the annual report and lauded the efforts of the teachers, staff and parents for making the long journey of Maple Bear successful .More than 100 students participated in the function.

The function was presided over by the Commissioner of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, MS Jaggi, who gave away mementoes and certificates and appreciated the management and staff for their dedication towards the institution.

The guests of honour of the evening were Anil Sarin, member, Punjab Public Service Commission, and Dr Baljeet Kaur. 



Class X question papers go missing
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 18
A high drama was witnessed at Saheed Sukhdev Thapar Government Senior Secondry School, Bharat Nagar, when examination controller and school principals found the board science and physical education question papers of class X missing in the lot sent to the schools by Punjab School Education Department (PSEB). Class X examination of PSEB is going to start from March 20 and principals along with examination controller were there to collect the question papers.

Panicky school principals contacted the Board official, but instead of solving the problem, the Board employees locked the office. The matter was resolved after PSEB chairman promised that missing question papers would be given tomorrow. 



Professional etiquettes must for success, says expert
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 18
A series of extension lectures, for the outgoing students of arts, commerce and computer streams of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, by the Career Guidance and Counselling Bureau of the college, concluded here yesterday.

Ranjit Kaur, coordinator of the cell, and assistant professor in Commerce, in her deliberation on ‘Professional Ethics’ shared with the students the need to learn and adopt systematic behaviour and professional etiquettes in order to be successful professionals in life. “Mastering manners and adopting a positive outlook towards work can surely act as morale booster for a budding professional,” she added.

Dr Amandeep Kaur, assistant professor in economics from the host college, spoke on the topic ‘Group Discussion’. “Individuals may have varied opinions about a particular issue, but consensus can surely be arrived at if they try to engage themselves in a healthy dialogue. It is only when one discusses in a group that multiple aspects of an issue emerge. So group discussion forms an important aspect of one’s professional career,” she stressed. Hiteshwari Sabrol, assistant professor in computer science, delivered her lecture on the topic ‘Resume Writing’ in which the students were taught how to frame an effective resume to make the desired impression on the employers in the very first instance.

Prof Sangram Singh from the CT Institute of Management and Technology deliberated on the topic “Enterprise Resource Planning”. He told the students that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a system that integrates all the functions as sales, inventory management, purchasing, internet, CRM, accounting etc into a single system, designed to serve the needs of each different department within the enterprise.

He also highlighted about the general concepts, history, evolution, features, components, benefits and causes of failure of ERP. He told about the career in ERP and the institutes providing its training in India. “The failure in EPR is sometimes due to unrealistic expectations, selection of wrong software, miscalculation of expenses, last minute changes, communication and lack of training,” added the resource person.

Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal of the college, welcomed the resource persons and congratulated the members of the Career Guidance and Counselling Bureau for making the students aware of the various options.



Board to charge for corrections
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Now, schools have to pay Rs 100 for the correction of each mistake in the continuation forms of class XI students. Schools had sent these continuation details to the board in July, 2011, at the time of making admissions to class XI. A continuation form is sent to the board by a school with details of all the students who continue their studies from class X to class XI at the school.

The board authorities send the copies of records to schools for rechecking. Earlier, schools used to send all the details of students to the PSEB for records.

It is strictly mentioned in the board circular that if any mistake is found in the details sent by a school, they would have to pay Rs 100 each for the correction of mistakes.

According to the instructions sent by the superintendent, registration branch, Balwinder Kaur, these copies of records are sent to schools after maintaining records of students’ details at the PSEB head office. Now, schools have to tally details in these copies with the school record. If any mistake is found in the copy, it should be mentioned on the last page. If no mistake is found, it should also be mentioned. 



Bus Passengers a Harrowed lot
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 18
While the Jagraon bus stand boasts of various improved services at the newly constructed building, the commuters are still facing a lot of inconvenience due to several reasons, including illegal encroachments by the vendors and the lack of proper maintenance for the bus stand building.

Though there are as many as 18 counters in the bus stand, including 12 for long routes and 6 for local routes, the bus operators, particularly of the private companies, keep on picking passengers from outside the bus stand. This often leads to traffic congestion outside the exit point of the bus stand and on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway. The buses coming from other stations do not enter the bus stand, and pick/drop passengers outside the bus stand. In such a scenario, the passengers too prefer to board the buses from outside the bus stand.

The second major problem with the bus stand is the illegal possession of the land by the vendors outside the bus stand premises. A number of vendors have encroached upon the public land and erected kiosks (khokas) which not only cause inconvenience to the commuters, but also lead to financial loses to the contractors of the booths situated inside the bus stand building.

Moreover these kiosks are also an eyesore with regard to the new bus stand building. According to sources, officials charge money from the vendors who have erected illegal kiosks outside the bus stand and allow them to run their business.

There are 12 counters for long-route buses and six for local mini buses. The drivers still stop their buses outside the bus stand premises for long periods to pick up passengers, leading to traffic chaos. The practice continues right under the nose of the bus stand authorities and traffic cops, who have a control room just a few meters away from the place where the buses pick passengers.

Dirty toilets and unclean floors at the bus stand speak volumes for the poor maintenance of the building. Unlike other major bus stands in the state, the local bus stand lacks electrical cleaning machines to keep the floors clean. The bus stand also lack the manpower required for jobs like sweeping, supervising, security jobs etc. Moreover, the bus stand has also become a safe heaven for drug addicts. Empty bottles of cough syrups and strips of toxic drugs can be seen lying on the floors in the toilets at the bus stand.

When contacted, general manager Punjab Roadways, Jagraon depot, BB Mahajan, said that he will make sure that all the buses enter the bus stand in future. “We will also take up the matter with the traffic police to ensure that the buses stop picking up passengers from outside the bus stand,” he added. 



Industry unhappy with RBI’s decision
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Expressing dissatisfaction over the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to keep interest rates unchanged, local industry said rate cuts were needed to make it invest more and drive economic growth. “Industry is dissatisfied with the RBI’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged. It was needed, given the lower industrial production in the past few quarters,” said Badish Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

He said the industry was not pinning hopes on getting credit at lower interest rates.

The banks will not lower the base rates due to high lending rates. We have requested the RBI Governor to keep a watch on the banks base rate systems as they haven’t passed any benefits, added Jindal.

Sandeep Singla, a small entrepreneur, said, “It is difficult for the RBI to cut down rates, but industry will need to have a rate cut for investment pipeline. We are looking for a rate cut in the policy. We should be strongly expecting a cut in the next review”.

The Reserve Bank, in its mid-quarterly review of monetary policy, kept key policy rates unchanged and said future policy action will be determined by the movement in inflation. “The cut down of cash reserve ratio (CRR) from 5.5 per cent to 4.75 per cent gave no interest benefit to the industry. Inflation rose to 6.95 per cent in February which is much above the Reserve Bank’s comfort level of 5 to 6 per cent,” said another exporter and manufacturer from the city.

The exchange rate had depreciated abnormally, but subsequent partial correction means that it is now at a more realistic level. The industry said the pause in hikes was on the expected lines while cut in interest rates would have boosted the sagging sentiments.



Man killed in car accident
Our Correspondent

Samrala March 18
A car borne person was killed in a road accident on Ludhiana-Chandigarh road near Chahilan village. According to information received, Mantu Chopra (30), a resident of Jagraon, was going to Ludhiana in his Maruti car when the accident took place.

The mishap occured near Chahilan village when his car collided head on with a speeding Punjab Roadways Bus which was going towards Chandigarh.

The collision was so fierce that Mantu died on the spot. Although some villagers tried to save him, by the time he was taken out from the car, he was dead.

A highway police patrolling vehicle took him to the Civil Hospital for post mortem. The driver of the bus managed to escape from the scene. The Police has registered a case in this regard and is looking for the driver.



Residents irked at overflowing sewerage
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Samrala March 18
Fed up with the leakage of sewerage, the residents of street no II of Harnam Nagar, Samrala, organised a protest today, raising slogans against the Nagar Council Samrala for not paying heed to their problems.

They alleged that despite raising the issue with concerned officials, their problem were not being looked into. The residents said that due to sewerage leak , it has become difficult to even come out of their houses. The said that they were facing this problem from last several months and if it was not addressed immediately, then water born diseases were likely in the area. Meanwhile, when Nagar Council President Samrala Mohinder Singh was contacted in this regard, he refuted all allegations. He said that it is the duty of the sewerage department and not of Nagar Council to stop the leakage.



At the crossroads
Urdu poet of new awareness

Faiyyaz Farooqui
Faiyyaz Farooqui

Generally an officer who is a poet is considered a poet among officers and an officer among poets. But in the case of the IPS officer Faiyyaz Farooqui (DIG, Ludhiana Range), it can be said that he is an Urdu poet in his own right. In his recently published collection of ghazals, there is not a single couplet that indicates his official status. He is primarily a poet engaged in depicting his innermost feelings in the line of Mir and Momin as well as Firaq and Faraz. He is immersed in the classical mode of Urdu ghazal, but the terminology he uses brings forth the changing patterns of new awareness. Therein lies the appeal of his poetic endeavour that is at once charming and captivating.

Faiyyaz Farooqui was born and brought up in a land-owning family in Allahabad where he obtained his postgraduate degree in Persian from Allahabad University with distinction. Thereafter he imbibed the literary flavour of the city while seeking new avenues of his career, resulting in his selection in 1995 in the Indian Police Service (Punjab Cadre). The city of Allahabad has the distinction of producing or nurturing eminent poets in Urdu and Hindi like Nuh Narvi, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Shams-ur-Rehman Farooqui, Akbar Allahabadi, Nirala, Mahadevi Verma, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, besides other littérateurs like Kamaleshwar.

All that was best in the contemporary world and all that he had inherited from the stalwarts of Urdu ghazal went into the formation of the poet in Faiyyaz Farooqui. He is seldom assertive; generally, suggestive. There is an element of dialogue in his ghazals that sometimes diverts his attention to his inner self. It brings him face to face with the person dear to his heart. He is never in a hurry, nor is he argumentative; but always at the periphery of understanding the problems of life, love and longings.

In the poetic collection, Thoda sa Main (A little bit of myself) comprises of ghazals, besides some stray couplets. The foreword is by the well known poet and critic Shams-ur-Rehman Farooqui who has termed Faiyyaz as an interesting poet. The preface is by Munawwar Rana who has traced the development of the poet in the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb (The culture of the region of Ganga and Jamuna). The poet has also given expression to his own ideas, under the title Kuchh Meri Bhi (Something by myself). He says that he is not a progressive poet in the conventional sense, but he is not unaware of the struggle between capitalists and labourers in the present day world. His mind is, of course, attuned to the niceties of human existence. Still the couplet he has quoted in defence of his progressive leaning cannot be ignored-

Chhat patata raha sarmaaye ke punjhon mein sada

Mujh ko pehchaaniye muflis ka gareiban hun mein

(Just recognise me I am the collar of the poor person that has ever been in the grip of the rich man.)

Flipping through the ghazal-collection of Faiyyaz Farooqui, I especially liked 5 ghazals. I am quoting a couplet each from the earmarked ghazals as specimens of his poetic excellence-

Sanwarte hain woh dekh kar aaeene ko

Sanwar jaayen to aaeena dekha hai

(She spruces herself up in front of the mirror. After that the mirror steals a glance at her.)

Chaman mein jaa ke mein hairaan ho gya aksar

Yeh phool pa gye kaise tere jamaal ka rung

(Often I am astonished to see in the garden the flowers which have acquired the radiance of your beauty.)

Kabhi rasmaan hi jub tum puchhte thhe haal mera

Na jaane kyon meri aankhon mein aansu tair jaate thhe

(Whenever you asked me, even formally, about my condition, I wonder why did tears well up abruptly in my eyes?)

Bujh paayegi na pyaas, teri deed ke bina

Darya pilaa tu chaahe samunder pilaa mujhe

(My thirst will never be slaked without having a glimpse of your loveliness, otherwise not even the river or the ocean can help me to quench it.)

Aur kuchh nahin, kirdaar ki punjhi ke siva

Tere Faiyyaz mein yeh eik gohar milta hai

(There is nothing that matters except the integrity of character and this is the only gem that is in the possession of your Faiyyaz.)

— N.S. Tasneem



Crime busters turn entertainers
Mesmerise all with their performance during Saras Mela
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
It is not often when you see the police personnel don the colourful costumes and win the hearts.
The ongoing Saras Mela at Government College for Girls saw a youthful cultural show by the Punjab Police cultural troupe from Patiala in the evening.

Around 22 members of the troupe, including a woman officer, presented different cultural items. The troupe included officers from different ranks, including constables, ASIs and officers.

Humorous “Bhand Mirasi” performance by a couple of members entertained all.

Traditional cultural songs, including the evergreen classics like “Ni mai kamli yar di”, “Chhala”, “Ni mai pani bhareni”, “Mirza” imbued the evening with culture and nostalgia by Karam Raj, Mast Ali and Jagdish Manak.

Sufi songs by a few performers, including shaloks of Baba Sheikh Farid added the spiritual fervour to the evening. A solo dance by the sole woman member of the group, Meenu Mavi, was appreciated by all.

A magic show brought the stage alive that was particularly aimed at enthusing children. A group also performed acrobatics. A qawwali on the qalams of Baba Bulle Shah was the main attraction of the event. The performance was consummated with the performance of Malwai giddha by a group. SR Sharma, Deputy Director, Punjab Police Cultural Troupe, said the group had performed at various places in India and abroad, including China, Tanzania, Zambia and other places. “They have also performed at Raj Bhawan in different states and also at Suraj Kund,” he added. 



City gets Sachin’s wax statue
Tribune Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Sachin Tendulkar was in the city today. Well, almost. His wax sculpture made by Prabhakar, an artist, did the honours of sharing a 30-kg cake, celebrating Sachin’s 100th ton with hundreds of his admirers at the Sarabha Nagar market here today.

Prabhakar could be seen enjoying from ear to ear when people mistook the statue for real. He was particularly happy to see young people appreciating his work.

It was surprised to see that the generation-next was interested to know more about his Madame Tussad-like museum.

Young boys and girls danced to the tune of the latest Punjabi and Hindi songs. Harjinder Singh, the organiser of the gala celebrations, played old songs of Sachin Dev Burman, from whose name Sachin’s father gave him his first name.

As Sachin’s 100th ton is the talk of the world, cricket is in the air.

Erstwhile cricketer and Punjab Cricket Board selector Chaman Lal was also present. He told the young audience, “One day we should have a Sachin from Punjab.” 



Traffic congestion on roads, encroachments say it all
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
One of the oldest bazaar of the city, Chaura Bazaar, presently no longer stands by its name. Once known for its sprawling roads, today it is difficult even to walk on the narrow roads of the bazaar. Traffic congestion and encroachments are the major problems faced by the century-old bazaar.

Encroachments on both sides of the road have narrowed down the way which makes it impossible to pass through the bazaar. Although vehicles are not allowed inside the narrow lanes of the bazaar, still the traffic congestion due to rickshaws and two-wheelers become unbearable.

The traffic becomes unmanageable on Sundays when the main bazaar is closed but the make-shift shops come up on the roadside. One has to walk with the flow of the crowd. “One cannot even walk on Sundays when people, especially migrants, come to the bazaar to buy stuff from make-shift shops,” said Gurinder Singh from Bhadaur House.

Surinder Kumar, one of the shopkeepers, at the bazaar, said, “Traffic problem in the area has remained the same over the years. The bazaar is full of hustle and bustle throughout the year and so is the traffic. Although the authorities keep issuing warning and notices to the shopkeepers to clear the road of encroachments, shopkeepers turn a deaf ear to them,” he said.

Different bazaars located in and around Chaura Bazaar like books market, electrical market, pindi street, ghaas mandi, kesar ganj market, meena bazaar, sarafan bazaar and basati bazaar, all face the similar problem of traffic congestion and encroachments.

Jaswinder Grewal said the authorities should deal with the problem seriously. “Illegal encroachments on both side of the lanes is the major hurdle. Shopkeepers display their stuff outside and encroach upon the road which leads to narrowing of the roads and in turn traffic congestion,” he said.



Vegetable prices go up

Ludhiana: The vegetable prices have gone up. An increase of Rs 5 has been seen in the prices. “Once the vegetables of the season start arriving in abundance, the prices will become normal,” said a vegetable vendor.



reporters’ diary
Reviving old school memories

Few days back I met one of my friends from the school days. It was nice meeting her and reviving the old memories of the school time. One memory of the school days which left us laughing was of the day when our teacher took us to the lab as he wanted to find out what happened when an egg breaks in boiling water. He prepared everything and dropped it in the water. After dropping the egg he looked at his stop watch and realised he was holding the egg in his hand and it was the watch that he had dropped in the water. Such was the school life, where even small incidents and happenings use to amuse us and take us to another world. We miss our school days!

Here are the numbers

A roadways bus-conductor did not give a passenger his ticket even after getting the fare. The passenger demanded that he be given a ticket, after which the conductor gave it. But the passenger got angry at the blatant act of corruption and asked the conductor, "Why did you give me a ticket only after I asked for it? Now give me the telephone number of your district manager or general manger." Conductor gave the passengers a few numbers, and, with full confidence, said, "Take all these numbers, but keep in mind to call only those officials who, you are sure, do not accept bribes.” All passengers and he angry passenger were left speechless at his words.

Fascination for Army

A career in the Army seems to be a favourite with the school students from the Bet villages of Ludhiana. Even girls as young as 10 years say they want to join the Army. And they say it without a hint of self-consciousness. When asked the reason for their 'career preference', the girls just smile. Perhaps, their fascination has to do with the respect that the 'faujis' command in the villages. Unfortunately, in these villages very few women take up independent professions.

Excellent number!

A friend of mine bought a car recently and managed to get a fancy registration number for it, which he got written tastefully on the number plate. A few days back, he friend was coming from Vishkarma Chowk late in the night when he noticed that a red-coloured car was following him. Since incidents of snatching and robbery have been on the rise in recent times, he got panicky and gave an indicator to the car to overtake it. But instead of overtaking, the car started moving slowly. My friend got scared and speed his vehicle to reach, but the car kept pace at equal speed. On reaching his home near Civil Lines, the friend got out of his vehicle only to find that the car too had stopped. Two persons came out of the car and one of them said, "Bhaji, you have got a lovely number and it has been written tastefully. I followed you just to give you a compliment. I am so impressed."

— Contributed by Manav Mander, Charanjit Singh Teja, Minna Zutshi and Shivani Bhakoo




Dalbir takes Bathinda home
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, March 18
A scintillating batting display by Dr Dalbir Singh (74 runs off 42 balls) helped Bathinda Brotherhood XI script an emphatic seven-wicket win over Sacred Heart Convent School, Batch-1982 XI, in an exhibition cricket match played at Don Bosco Global School on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road here today.

Batting first, Sacred Heart Convent School, Batch-1982 XI, hoisted a good total of 186 runs after losing nine wickets in the allotted 25 overs.

Fang was the top contributor, who scored 57 runs off 37 balls.

His innings included four sixes and two boundaries. Other notable scorers were Dinesh Kalwa and Dipender who made 24 and 22 runs, respectively.

For the Bathinda Brotherhood XI, Dr Rahul and Dr Parampal scalped two victims each for 22 and 17 runs, respectively.

Requiring 187 runs for victory, Bathinda Brotherhood XI surpassed Sacred Heart Convent School Batch-1982 XI's total in just 16.3 overs after losing only three wickets.

Dr Dalbir Singh and Amit Kumar played the pivot role in Bathinda Brotherhood XI's successful attempt in achieving the target.

Dalbir Singh scored 74 runs off 42 balls with the help of five sixes and as many boundaries and Amit made 51 runs, laced with one six and seven hits to the boundaries while Dalla G contributed 32 runs to help their side to wrap up the match quite easily.

For the losers, Maninder Singh and Sudhir took one wicket each after giving away 67 and 60 runs, respectively.

Dr Dalbir Sing, for his outstanding batting performance, was adjudged the man of the match. 



Piyush Likhi guides SDP Academy to victory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 18
A whirlwind innings of 109 not out by Piyush Likhi steered SDP Academy to a 21-run victory against Unique Cricket Club in a 30-over each side cricket match played at the SDP College for Women, Circular road, Daresi ground, here today.

SDP Academy won the toss and elected to bat first.

In the stipulated 30 overs, they scored 151 for the loss of six wickets. Their innings revolved around Piyush Likhi, who remained unbeaten on 109 runs, which came off just 40 deliveries with the help of seven sixes and eight hits over the ropes.

Anmol made 20 overs while Chetan Sharma chipped in with 15 runs.

For Unique Cricket Club, Dheeraj and Deepak Kapoor picked up two wickets each after conceding 26 and 22 runs, respectively.

Chasing the target, Unique Cricket Club could muster 130 runs as their innings folded in 19.4 overs.

The main scorers were Deepak Behl (42), Sanjeev Rawat (27), Dheeraj (24) and Anil Singla (11).

For the winnings side, Abhishek sent down four overs and grabbed three wickets for 13 runs while Deepak Behl claimed three wickets for 22 runs. Piyush Likhi and Pawan took two wickets each for 22 and 23 runs, respectively. 



16 teams for football tourney
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 18
As many as 16 top teams from across the state will be seen in action during the 16th All-Open Punjab State Football Tournament to be organised by the Industrial Football Club, Ludhiana, at the ITI College ground here from March 23 to 25.

The winners will be richer by Rs 31,000 while the team finishing as runners-up will pocket a cash prize of Rs 25,000.

Chairman of the zila parishad, Ludhiana, and the newly elected MLA from Dakha along with Darshan Singh Shivalik, an MLA from Gill, will inaugurate the tournament on March 23 while former minister, Punjab, Hira Singh Gabria and Ajmer Singh Lahowal, chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, along with former MLA Jasbir Singh Khangura, will be the guests of honour.

Punjabi singers, Diljeet, Goga Chakwala, Neetu Virk, Gurbhej Sidhu, Laddi Dhaliwal and Sandeep Bhambra will entertain the spectators.



Sant Isher Singh academy register win
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 18
The kabaddi team of Sant Isher Singh Memorial Academy, Karamsar (Rara Sahib), emerged victorious in the open category during the Second Makhan Memorial Kabaddi Cup Tournament dedicated to late Harinder Singh Maan.

The tournament was held at Anand Isher Senior Secondary School in Chhappar village, near here, today.

The International Ambi Hathur Club were declared runners-up. The winners and runner-ups were given mementos and cash prizes worth Rs 1 lakh and Rs 75,000.

The tournament, being organised by the Malwa Sports and Kabbadi Club, was inaugurated by Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, MLA, Amargarh, while Jai Pal Singh Mandina, member, SGPC, was the chief guest.

Nirmal Singh Nimma and Devinder Singh Mann, chairman and president of the organisation, respectively, said in each category eight teams were allowed to play.



Prabhjot, Nitika adjudged best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 18
Prabhjot Singh and Nitika were declared best athletes among boys and girls, respectively, in the 58th Annual Athletics Meet of Gujjaranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College held here today.

The college management committee gave away cash prize of Rs 5,100 each to both of these students. Besides, students of the college, who brought laurels to the institute in various competitions were also honoured on the occasion.

The star basketball player, Amijot Singh, and international bodybuilder, Vikas Thakur, were given cash prize of Rs 31,000 while Prof Rajinder Singh, head of the sports department, was felicitated for his outstanding contribution to the development of sports.

The college authorities also honoured former students for bringing fame to their alma mater on this occasion. They include, bodybuilder, Pardeep Singh, and prominent sports promoter, Jagroop Singh Jarkhar.



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